Emerging Technologies Help Improve Swine Productivity and Welfare

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Farmscape for March 4, 2019

Full Interview 9:18 Listen

The CEO of the Canadian Center for Swine Improvement says new and emerging technologies that allow measurement and tracking of animal performance are helping improve both performance and welfare. As part of research conducted through Swine Innovation Porc, emerging technologies available to the pork sector to provide objective indicators of animal performance, welfare and carcass value were evaluated. Brian Sullivan, the CEO of the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement, explains there are all kinds of technologies being developed for potential use on livestock farms.

Clip-Brian Sullivan-Canadian Center for Swine Improvement:
An example of the pork industry is electronic feeders which allow for control and monitoring of feed intake on individual animals. This is a technology that is being adopted on many swine farms in Canada, especially as herds are converting to loose sow housing. These electronic feeders help to ensure sows are getting proper nutrition and it can also alert the animal care people to potential illness or injury when an individual sow is not eating as expected.
Some other examples in development include the use of vision systems with various kinds of cameras that can monitor animal movements and behavior, estimate body weight and even estimate body temperature. There are other technologies that can evaluate carcass and pork quality attributes at the packing plants and these could help to enhance the value of Canadian pork through changes in production or processing or even the marketing of the pork and these are just some examples.

Sullivan says, in general, the technologies that can automatically measure things on the animal can help optimize performance and welfare.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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